After two years as Chair for the Mito Community Advisory Panel (MCAP), Mia Bell has chosen to pass the baton on and we are pleased to announce the appointment of Melinda Macauley as the new MCAP Chair, and Fiona Elmer as MCAP Deputy Chair.

The foundation would like to acknowledge the meaningful contribution Mia has made in her role as MCAP Chair and in supporting the mito community.  In addition to her Chair duties and active Support Group lead in Adelaide, Mia also represented Mito Foundation on the UMDF Adult Advisory Council Team and has willingly shared her story to raise awareness of mito and to advocate for mitochondrial donation.

Mia has consistently demonstrated passion and commitment to achieving the best possible outcomes for mito community members and we are grateful for her continued involvement in the MCAP.

The MCAP remains active in its commitment to representing the needs of the mito community, creating opportunities for communication and feedback and actively supporting community-based activities.

We welcome both Mel and Fiona to their new roles in the MCAP, and look forward to the exciting new opportunities ahead. Both Mel and Fiona have been members of MCAP for a number of years and are actively involved in their local mito communities.

Mel Macaulay

Melinda Macaulay - Chair


Mel showed symptoms of mito for 17 frustrating years before being diagnosed with Chronic Progressive External Ophthalmoplegia (CPEO) in 2011.

She operates her own coaching business and is a motivational speaker where she often speaks about rising above our own self-imposed ‘dis-abilities’ and limitations regardless of personal circumstances.

Mel and her husband Andrew wrote the training program for the Bloody Long Walk, and she also enjoys volunteering and participating in the event. In 2016 Mel and Andrew cycled 1,350km unsupported from Hervey Bay (QLD) to Circular Quay, Sydney (NSW) to raise awareness and funds for the Mito Foundation.

Mel understands how frustrating, isolating and misunderstood this condition can be and has found the Mito Foundation support services to be extremely beneficial.

Contact Mel – 0401 940 862 or

Fiona Elmer

Fiona Elmer - Deputy Chair

Western Australia

Fiona Elmer lives in Perth and is a geologist with a research background. Since her eldest child Aidan was diagnosed with mito in October 2014, both Fiona and her husband Dan have been closely involved in the Mito Foundation through events raising awareness of mito and funds for research into treatments and cures.

Now mum to three children, Fiona has plays a vital role in organising support group meetings in Perth, and represents the mito community on the Mito Foundation Board. She wants to use her experiences to help others going through similar life events in any way she can. She realises that it can be hard and at times lonely being a parent of a child with a serious health issue and is willing to talk openly about her experiences.

Contact Fiona – 0417 383 940 or